15 Responses to “99Designs stick 2 fingers up at designers with launch of ‘ready-made logo’ store”

  1. Thanks for the feedback… We’ve done our homework before this. It’s the #2 most requested item by our design community – http://99designs.uservoice.com/ and there’s massive demand for something like this in the small business space.

    Once you get outside of the Internet, you realize that there’s tens of millions of small local businesses – retailers, service companies, drycleaners, florists, coffee shops, spas, dental offices, home builders, financial advisors, plumbers and electricians etc. that are LOCAL and make up the backbone of the economy. When surveying them, we found that the majority don’t trademark their logo – if they even have one. For those that do wish to have exclusive rights to a logo, we offer exclusive rights for $199 extra if the logo has not been licensed before.

    Opening Microsoft word, choosing clipart and “doing it yourself” is in fact what millions of mom-n-pop small business owners do every day of the year. We hope to offer a viable, super affordable alternative for those companies as well as the millions of businesses who don’t even have a logo while exposing them to a better quality level of design.

  2. Thanks for your reply Matt. Appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

    There’s other LOCAL businesses that need work also, and they’re designers. These local businesses you speak of would be much better off going to a local designer and asking them to create a brand image that truly identifies what the business is about.

    There are other options for companies with little funds, and that’s do seek the help of young aspiring designers who are looking to build up a portfolio.

    I’ve done work for a number of local businesses and they’ve received great reviews about how their logo stands out as something exciting.

    Are recycled templates exciting? No.

    These people who are ‘asking’ for this store deserved to be educated on the importance of branding in business.

  3. #2 most requested item in the company? maybe it should be #1, being that its the most important piece of design that a company can put out that specifically and uniquely shows who they are and why they matter. that being said, how much is that perception of their brand worth to the clients? ninety nine dollars? they sure dont value themselves very much.

  4. I agree, there’s always lots of other options but they aren’t always accessible or well-promoted because many designers aren’t good at selling & marketing themselves in their local community.

    As a result, a lot of small business owners are scared or intimidated when it comes to hiring a designer which is why there’s millions of small businesses without a logo and millions more who use Microsoft Word Clipart and similar.

    These local businesses don’t know how or where to find a good/reliable designer, don’t know how to judge whether a designer is qualified or not, don’t know how much to pay for a design or think its unaffordable to begin with, and they are afraid of getting ripped off or being forced to pay for something that they don’t end up liking.

  5. A good designer will ease these concerns and work with the person to produce a solution. The way 99designs are doing this just appears to be taking advance of those who lack knowledge. I would personally recommend to anyone to use Clip Art as opposed to this ‘store’ as none of these pre-made templates. At least if someone designed their own logo in Clip Art then there’s something personal about it.

    This ‘store’ devalues design by giving people false ideas about how the design process works.

  6. @Matt Mickiewicz

    What a load of garbage. How is this new? Or innovative? Or even worth mentioning at all?

    99designs should ask Pixelogo (who’ve been offering the exact same service for years. Or Logo Snap. How about Logoworks piece of crap automated Logomaker that does exactly what this 99designs offshoot does. How about Logoyes.com who not only have been selling stock art for years, but just happen to be #1 if you type “logo design” into a Google search bar. Read about istock, who announced stock logos last fall. And let’s not forget IncSpring, Brandstack or whatever they’re calling themselves these days.

    If joining this morely crew wasn’t enough, 99designs,takes it to a whole new low, bringing spec work into the mix as well. Designers upload THEIR designs, hope someone buys it and then gets 30% of the sale? Nice. You’re also selling the logos multiple times too? How is that cool for a company logo? You’re calling this clip art “professionally designed” logos. By what standards? According to your claims, the logos are rejects from logo design contests and probably created by amateurs. That’s the talking point that you use to promote your company, remember? Leveling the playing field and all that.

    People don’t use clip art because of ANY of the reasons you state. They use clip art because it’s FREE, comes with the software they’ve bought. If you think there’s a world of people thinking to themselvevs “I have to use this clip art. if only there was a website that I could buy a $99 logo a” you’re seriously deluded. There’s dozens, if not hundreds, of other websites already doing just that.

    99designs respects design and designers? Bollocks. The only thing 99designs respects is their bank account. And they don’t care how many designers they take advantage of to fill it.

  7. @Matt Mickiewicz Not to beat a drum too hard, but your exclusive/non-exclusive rights are crap too. Let me quote you

    “When surveying them, we found that the majority don’t trademark their logo – if they even have one. For those that do wish to have exclusive rights to a logo, we offer exclusive rights for $199 extra if the logo has not been licensed before.”

    Okay. So does the $199 INCLUDE trademark registration? Of course not. SO what does this have to do with whether small companies trademark their logo or not? Nothing. You’re just trying to muddy the water and make people believe they’re getting something they’re not.

    Let’s read YOUR terms and conditions. Almost the entire page spells out that you are not responsible for the originality of ANY design sold via 99designs website.

    “99designs will not be liable or responsible for any breach by a Designer or Customer of any Intellectual Property Rights held by a third party in relation to any Design Contest, Design or Design Concept or other use of 99designs.com;”

    So, you’re offering “exclusive” logos for $199 a pop, yet you waive any responsibility if the design is copied from somewhere else? Which is a real issue, because 99designs is NOTORIOUS for ripped off and copied work being entered into contests (but most of the time rejected). Now these rejected designs are going to find their way into your stock logo library and put on sale for “exlcusive” buyout.

    That’s rich.

  8. @Ted and @pooling, thanks very much for sharing your views on this matter. Please share this link with others so we can get more opinions about 99designs new venture. I’m interested to see know if anyone is actually in favour of this ‘store’.

  9. I shake my head at you 99 designs. and not in a good way. You are taking a craft that is custom and making it into a common. Shame on you.

  10. “These local businesses don’t know how or where to find a good/reliable designer, don’t know how to judge whether a designer is qualified or not, don’t know how much to pay for a design or think its unaffordable to begin with, and they are afraid of getting ripped off or being forced to pay for something that they don’t end up liking.”

    …So your brilliant “idea” is to devalue the entire industry by providing these services for next to nothing? Your not running a business mate, your running a sweat shop and taking advantage of the ignorance of all on both sides of the fence. NICE!!!

  11. […] $99, for non-exclusive stuff, to just under three hundred for exclusive stuff. Some designers were none-too-impressed with the announcement of the plan, partially due to the spec work nature of the endeavor (designers only get paid when […]

  12. 99 Designs should be called 99% Crap. The prices are low and attractive, but if you’re on a budget (e.g. $300 for a logo) there are much better alternatives than doing spec work with inexperienced “designers”.

    I posted a project on OrangeSlyce.com once to get my logo designed. It’s all college student designers, so the cost is low like 99Designs/CrowdSpring but I was able to work with one girl over a week with several iterations (she was quite patient with me).

    I’m all for supporting students starting their careers, and since they are looking to build their portfolios, they’ll bend over backwards for your design, and aren’t looking for a quick buck.

  13. There are many other ways to get affordable graphic design work completed. Look for a site that actually pays the designer for the work. Try companies that match pre-qualified designers with companies looking for quality design without spending a fortune. Biggest isn’t always the best.

  14. Educating those outside of the design community on the pitfalls of these contest sites is key. It’s true that some clients don’t care, but I think more of them just don’t know any better.

  15. “Once you get outside of the Internet, you realize that there’s tens of millions of small local businesses – retailers, service companies, drycleaners, florists, coffee shops, spas, dental offices, home builders, financial advisors, plumbers and electricians etc. that are LOCAL and make up the backbone of the economy.”

    They are a backbone.
    99designs is just plain CANCER

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